NWGA Scanner | June 30th, 2021
According to a Floyd County Police Department incident report, on June 24th, 2021, at around 2:55 AM, Officer McCormick was proactively patrolling when he observed a vehicle stopped at the intersection of Eden Valley Road and GA-1. Officer McCormick reported, “The Vehicle had the green light but continued to stay stopped until [I] made it all the way behind it and sat for a second. The vehicle then took off at a high rate of speed, crossing over the fog line and then over into the next lane prior to swerving back. [I] believed the driver to be distracted by a cell phone due to the manner of driving at the time. The vehicle then began to pick up speed as well as swerving more, indicating impaired motor skills. Upon activating my blue lights and siren, we reached the speed of 81 mph in a 55 mph zone.” The driver, later identified as Austin Tyler Waits, 26, of Rome, drove for roughly 200 more yards before stopping inside the city of Rome. Officer McCormick reported, “[I] stepped past the B post of the vehicle [I] could detect a strong odor of alcoholic beverage. Due to having two Officers on shift with more training in DUI cases than me [I] requested them to come out and assist.” Officer Forrister, who responded to assist, reported, “[I] do have prior knowledge of Austin Waits due to his past employment with Floyd County Police Department and am also aware that other Officers have responded to multiple calls recently where Austin Waits was on scene and under the influence. According to the report, While Austin exited his vehicle, it became very obvious that he was not able to maintain balance while walking to the rear of his vehicle, and once they were at the rear of the vehicle, the officer noticed that he was leaned up against the bumper of his car in an attempt to maintain balance. According to the report, Austin showed several clues of impairment during field sobriety testing. Officer Forrister reported, “At this time, it was apparent that Austin was under the influence of alcohol-based on my results from HGN, along with him not being able to maintain balance, follow instructions for the field sobriety evaluations, the odor of alcohol coming from him while he was inside his vehicle and his admittance of drinking alcohol to me during the evaluation. Austin was placed under arrest for DUI. Officer McCormick reported, “While en route, he advised that he had been drinking and was under the influence as well as admitted to being DUI on the broad street last week.” The state breath test showed his BAC to be .216. Austin was transported to the Floyd County Jail charged with DUI-driving under the influence of alcohol, failure to maintain lane, and speeding.